Maine Kicks Trump Off 2024 Primary Ballot
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a commit to caucus campaign event at the Whiskey River bar on December 02, 2023 in Ankeny, Iowa.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Shortly after Colorado put Donald Trump back on its 2024 primary ballot, a top Maine official announced the former president would be disqualified from her state’s primary ballot.

A ruling on Thursday from Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows found Trump’s primary petition to be “invalid” on the view that he violated the 14th Amendment’s insurrection clause due to his conduct leading up to the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.

Bellows, a Democrat, also rejected a bid by Trump’s legal team to get her to recuse herself from making a ruling on his eligibility amid multiple challenges to his candidacy.

A flurry of 14th Amendment cases in other states, including Michigan, have been dismissed in court or remain active. One particular lawsuit, in Colorado, led to the state’s supreme court last week to kick Trump off the primary ballot.

But Trump was allowed to appear on Colorado‘s 2024 primary ballot on Thursday — at least for now — after the state’s Republican Party asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that disqualified him. It was not immediately clear how the high court would respond.

Many of the challenges against Trump hinge on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which is widely viewed as being designed to block former officials from returning to public office after the Civil War if they joined the Confederacy.

Trump and his allies have fought against the array of litigation.

“The state has interfered in the primary election by unreasonably restricting the Party’s ability to select its candidates,” said the Colorado GOP’s filing to the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

“As a natural and inevitable result, the state has interfered with the Party’s ability to place on the general election ballot the candidate of its choice. And it has done so based on a subjective claim of insurrection the state lacks any constitutional authority to make,” the filing added.


Trump’s legal team sought to have Bellows recuse herself over concerns that social media posts showed bias against the former president.

“The secretary’s expression of support for the view that January 6, 2021, constituted an insurrection, and that President Trump was an ‘insurrectionist,’ is probative evidence of prejudgment and bias,” they said in a filing on Wednesday.

In her ruling on Thursday, Bellows denied the request for a recusal, saying it was “untimely,” and insisted that she otherwise would have determined that she could preside over the matter without bias.

“My decision is based exclusively on the record before me, and it has in no way been influenced by my political affiliation or personal views about the events of January 6, 2021,” Bellows said.

Bellows said any challengers have five days to appeal. The GOP primary in Maine is set for March 5.

“We will quickly file a legal objection in state court to prevent this atrocious decision in Maine from taking effect, and President Trump will never stop fighting to Make America Great Again,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.

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